Marwa Rahim, 22
I was born in war, I grew up in war, and I went to school in war.
I used to watch a television series called “Heart Surgeon” and I dreamed that one day I would become a doctor, and help as many people as possible, especially women.
I worked hard in high school, read a lot in my spare time. During the summer, I took English and math electives. Despite the poor facilities and resources for learning in the Afghan education system, I scored high marks.
There was no medical school in the province where I was born, so I traveled five hours to another province to study medicine. That province was dangerous, the war was going on with attacks and bomb threats all around us. I lived in a dorm, in a small room with 10 other girls. Conversation and noise made studying difficult. There was no library, and often, no electricity. During the day, I had to study in the hallway. Resources like books, lab equipment and computers were scarce.
Later, all universities were closed due to the pandemic, and our classes and even our labs went online. We didn’t have lab equipment at home, so a teacher suggested we use a magnifying glass instead of a microscope. When we were assigned to study malaria in the laboratory, the teacher suggested that we take blood from an insect and examine it.
Now that I’m in Houston, I want to resume my studies, even if I have to become a great doctor, help people in Afghanistan, and go to other countries where there are victims of war. I intend to inspire and motivate women with my success, never give up. I want my family and friends to be proud of me, and to be a useful person for this land that is now our home.